The Parables #119

The rich man and Lazarus, Pt4. 

Scripture: Luke 16:19-31.

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We have been looking at some preliminary matters related to the setting of this parable as recorded in verses 19-21. Now I want to consider in some detail just what the Saviour says. 

Please note that the Saviour wants us to understand that man does not cease to be when he dies! All who have died up to this moment still exist. They still exist as the person they were while alive, verses 22-23. Who they had been before they continue to be! 

Upon death, there is a separating of the saved and the lost. We are required to separate ourselves from wicked people as much as possible here on earth, Psalm 1:1, Ephesians 5:11, 2 Thess 3:14. Full and complete separation is not possible here. “Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world,” 1 Cor 5:10. But when we die we will be separated completely from sinners.

Punishment for the unsaved and blessing for the saved begins immediately upon death. Of course, these attend the both parties here on earth, but there is a fulness to these after death. Psalm 1:1, 32:2, 34:8. Likewise for the sinner. “He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity,” Proverbs 22:8. Galatians 6:7-8. But while trouble follows the sinner he will enter into it in fuller measure when he dies.

We have this truth set forth in the words of the Saviour. “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments,” verses 22-23.

The circumstances of the beggar improved above measure while those of the rich man plummeted!

The beggar was carried into the paradise reserved for the saints while the rich man went to a place of torment, all pleasure ended!

Note the role of angels in the lives of the redeemed, Hebrews 1:14.

Death seals our eternal state. Whatever state we are in when we die, we cannot alter it. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” Hebrews 9:27. The word ‘judgment’ refers to ‘separation’. The beggar and the rich man were separated from each other by ‘a great gulf’, verse 26.

Boys and girls, our life is the only opportunity we have of getting ready for eternity. Do not miss your chance. “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts,” Hebrews 3:7-8.

Do not harden your hearts against the voice of the Lord Jesus calling you to Himself for salvation. Rather say like Samuel: “Speak; for thy servant heareth, 1 Samuel 3:10.